Tesla has begun to beta test Virtual Power Plants. Tesla sees a need for grid stability in California and Tesla's virtual power plant is a solution to this. Tesla energy is looking to replace fossil fuels and enable backup power through battery storage that is captured through solar energy.
How Will a Virtual Power Plant Work?
Let's say there is a person who owns Tesla PowerWall and has Solar Panels on their roof capturing sunlight and charging the batteries in the Tesla PowerWall. When the house that is being powered by the PowerWall has more than enough energy from the solar panels, the excess energy goes to fill up the batteries in the PowerWall. When the batteries in the PowerWall are full, the excess energy gets fed back into the grid.
That excess energy can be paid back to the owner of the Tesla PowerWall in the form of credits (money). In fact, there was a man we recently interviewed who talked to us about his purchase of 6 Tesla PowerWalls and how he gets paid for his excess energy.
The "Virtual Power Plant" comes into play when there are many users of battery storage energy who can then help distribute their stored energy during a grid outage - or who just want to send excess energy back into the grid for consumption. Each PowerWall owner can function as part of a "Virtual Power Plant" and get paid for their excess energy.
Benefits of Virtual Power Plants
There are two primary benefits for virtual power plants. The first, and most important, is preventing grid blackouts and keeping energy on for neighborhoods and communities. This happens because their is abundant stored energy from batteries that are interconnected with the grid and can quickly feed energy when a blackout occurs.
The second benefit is that owners of stored energy can get paid for being part of a virtual power plant that can feed energy back into the grid. This creates economic incentive and boosts quality of life for owners of stored energy connected to the grid. In addition to that, many owners who purchase stored energy can pay for a portion of their energy cost from credits received for excess power.
What do you think about virtual power plants? Is it a good opportunity to stabilize the grid and create economic opportunity for others? When will we see virtual power plants across the U.S. or world?
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Jeremy Johnson is a Tesla investor and supporter. He first invested in Tesla in 2017 after years of following Elon Musk and admiring his work ethic and intelligence. Since then, he's become a Tesla bull, covering anything about Tesla he can find, while also dabbling in other electric vehicle companies. Jeremy covers Tesla developments at Torque News. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to stay in touch and follow his Tesla news coverage on Torque News.